Hit the trail

Published 5:30 pm Friday, May 31, 2013

Although it has no special events or programs to observe National Trails Day (today) or National Get Outdoors Day on June 8, Goose Creek State Park has several events involving trails and the outdoors this month.

That doesn’t mean area residents and visitors cannot take advantage of the park’s trails today to observe National Trails Day and enjoy its other amenities June 8.

North Carolina’s state parks are gearing up for the two special days with a number of special programs designed to enrich the experience of recreation and education in the outdoors, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.

The state’s parks system is joining other national and state organizations to commemorate June as Great Outdoors Month by proclamation of Gov. Pat McCrory, designating the time to recognize North Carolina’s wealth of natural resources and the outstanding opportunities they provide for safe and healthful recreation and lifestyles.

Goose Creek State Park has eight miles of trails. Flatty Creek Trail meanders through an upland forest and uses a boardwalk to cross wetlands. Goose Creek Trail, about two miles long, passes through black gum and cypress swamps. Ivey Gut Trail winds through the forest and provides glimpses of upper Goose Creek. Live Oak Trail includes a canopy of live oaks dripping with Spanish moss. Palmetto Boardwalk Trail is accessible by people with handicaps. It crosses a freshwater marsh. Mallard Creek Trail takes hikers to an overlook on Mallard Creek. Huckleberry Trail meanders through huckleberry patches and connects Live Oak Trail with Mallard Creek Trail. The park’s newest trail, Tar Kiln Trail, is between the Mallard Creek and Palmetto trails. Several old tar kilns can be found along the trail.

“Every day is a great day to connect with nature, but National Trails Day and National Get Outdoors Day offer opportunities to simply celebrate our state, its natural wonders and its recreation opportunities,” said Lewis Ledford, state parks director. “I urge everyone to take the days to explore the state parks and spend time with family and friends in the special settings nature provides.”

State parks have scheduled more than 24 programs for National Get Outdoors Day, as diverse as astronomy at Mayo River State Park, musket demonstrations at Fort Macon State Park and fishing at Eno River State Park and Jordan Lake State Recreation Area. Information about these free programs can be found at http://1.usa.gov/1410S9L. More information about National Get Outdoors Day is at http://bit.ly/2HsWhw.

Hammocks Beach State Park will celebrate Military Appreciation Day on Sunday. All active-duty and retired service members and their families are invited to attend. The park will provide ferry rides to Bear Island. Activities for children include face painting, T-shirt painting, inflatables, waterslides and nature exhibits.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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